The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
|Breath of the Wild Quick Links|
|The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild|
American Switch version box art
|Designer(s)||Hidemaro Fujibayashi (director)|
Eiji Aonuma (producer/group manager)
March 3, 2017
|Predecessor||Tri Force Heroes|
Link awakens from a deep sleep and a mysterious voice guides him to discover what has become of the ruined Kingdom of Hyrule. Link meets an Old Man, who turns out to be the spirit of the deceased King of Hyrule. Link learns from the King that 100 years prior, a great evil known as the Calamity Ganon rose up and laid waste to the kingdom and its people. Unable to be defeated, it was sealed within Hyrule Castle, while the ruins of the land were ravaged by nature over time. Although trapped, the Calamity Ganon has grown in power, and Link must defeat it before it breaks free once more and destroys the world.
After escaping the confines of the Great Plateau, Link is encouraged to meet the wise Sheikah elder Impa and learn about the Guardians and Divine Beasts: 10,000 years prior these machines were created and successfully used by another Hero and another Princess to defeat the Calamity. But throughout the ages, knowledge about the ancient technology was lost until excavations in Hyrule brought them to light once more, coinciding with the expected return of Ganon a hundred years ago. The Guardians were reactivated and four Champions were chosen to control the Divine Beasts: The Zora princess Mipha, the Goron warrior Daruk, the Gerudo chief Urbosa, and the Rito archer Revali. All the while, Princess Zelda was unsuccessfully trying to gain access to her own prophesied powers, accompanied on her quests by her knight, the Hylian Champion Link. When the Calamity Ganon ultimately attacked, it devastated the Kingdom of Hyrule by taking control of the ancient machines and turning them against the Hyruleans. As a last resort, Zelda was able to place the gravely wounded Link in the Shrine of Resurrection and use her awoken sealing powers to trap herself with Ganon in Hyrule Castle.
As Link sets off on his quest to defeat Ganon, he is asked to investigate the fate of the Divine Beasts and their former Champions. His ultimate goal, however, remains to reach the Calamity and free the trapped Princess Zelda before the whole world is laid to waste. But with the entire Kingdom of Hyrule before him to explore, it is up to Link himself to decide how he wishes to fulfill his foretold role as the Hylian Champion.
Breath of the Wild features a vast open world for Link to explore. Most of Hyrule's scenery is accessible by walking, paragliding or climbing. While the game still includes barriers (such as weather effects, inhospitable environments or strong enemies), many of these can be overcome by using Food, effective weapons and armor or finding alternate routes. The world also includes an elaborate physics system which allows for creative interactions (e.g., cutting down a tree and using its trunk as a raft on a river, or setting grass ablaze and spreading the fire with wind gusts).
Unlike many previous Zelda games, Breath of the World does not enforce a specific order in which quests or dungeons have to be solved, with the exception of completing the starting tasks on the Great Plateau. It is possible to challenge Ganon right after leaving the starting area, though the game does encourage exploration in order to solve Ancient Shrines (and thus gaining additional Hearts or Stamina), find useful and powerful equipment, and defeat the game's own version of dungeons, the Divine Beasts. Additionally, many of the game's puzzles can also be solved in various different ways, often rewarding Link for creative solutions.
Link's controls in Breath of the Wild are reminiscent of previous 3D Zelda games. However, the game is the first to require manual jumps as opposed to auto-jumping over small gaps which was introduced with Ocarina of Time and a long-time staple of the Legend of Zelda series.
A new feature introduced with Breath of the Wild is Cooking, which enables the creation of Food that recovers Hearts and bestows various effects on Link. Meals are cooked by broiling up to five edible Materials at cooking pots, such as meat, berries, fruits or herbs. Elixirs can be mixed by including monster parts in various recipes. Depending on chosen ingredients, Link's health will be replenished and/or he will receive effects such as Elemental Resistance, additional Stamina or Hearts, or buffs to his Defense or Attack.
Equipment & Durability
Link can equip a huge variety of different weapons and armor in Breath of the Wild, allowing for adaptation to the ever-changing environment of Hyrule and tactics used by different enemies. Notably, almost all weapons found in the game will break after a certain amount of hits. This new Durability system often forces Link to use weapons gained from enemies, even weak ones, instead of just wielding the best sword available in the game.
Completing the initial four Ancient Shrines on the Great Plateau bestows Link with four Rune abilities: Magnesis, Stasis, Cryonis, and Remote Bombs. These abilities allow Link to manipulate the environment by lifting magnetic objects, freezing objects (and later enemies) in time, creating blocks of ice on water surfaces, and summoning bombs. Together with climbing and paragliding, these abilities are used throughout the rest of the game and (for the very most part) sufficient to solve puzzles and access most of Hyrule. As a consequence, the game does not feature traditional dungeon items that grant abilities to Link.
The Zelda HD Experience, a The Legend of Zelda tech demo of the Wii U, was shown at E3 2011. In June 2011 Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that Nintendo is planning on creating an HD The Legend of Zelda title.
Breath of the Wild was officially announced in a Wii U Direct presentation on January 23, 2013. Eiji Aonuma stated that the game intended to challenge what was expected of The Legend of Zelda franchise, such as having to complete dungeons in a specific order. The game was already expected to have a long development time, so Nintendo released The Wind Waker HD for the Wii U to decrease the gap between releases. During E3 2014, the first video of the game was shown, revealing Link riding a horse, in addition to a Guardian and Hyrule Field. During the Game Awards 2014, Miyamoto and Aonuma showcased another gameplay video. It demonstrated the scale of Hyrule, which was designed with the open world concept of the original The Legend of Zelda in mind. It also showed the first use of the Paraglider, map features, as well as additional riding and fighting mechanics. Features to be used on the Wii U gamepad were also shown during these videos, which were later removed during development, when the game was ported to Nintendo Switch.
The game's original release was intended for 2015, but as new ideas were implemented during development, the release date was pushed forward several times. The final release window of the game was first revealed in financial documents released in March 2016, and later confirmed by Nintendo via Twitter.
During E3 2016, the game's first playable demo was made available for visitors. It featured the Great Plateau area and showed many new elements of the game, such as dodging, the creation of food by collecting materials, the use of enemy weapons, the return of the stamina gauge, new mini-dungeons called Ancient Shrines, and the Sheikah Slate.
Nintendo revealed the final March release date of Breath of the Wild during the Nintendo Switch presentation in January 2017. Shortly afterwards, on February 9, 2017, the game was completed after more than five years of development.
Various limited editions for the Switch version of Breath of the Wild were released worldwide.
- In North America, the Special Edition included the game, a tapestry map, a Sheikah Slate carrying case, a soundtrack with 24 songs, and a Sheikah Eye coin. The Master Edition included the same content as well as a Master Sword statue.
- In Europe, the Limited Edition included the game, the soundtrack, and the Master Sword statue.
- In Australia, the Limited Edition included the game, the tapestry map, the soundtrack, the Sheikah Eye coin, and the Master Sword statue.
- In Japan, the Collector's Edition included the game, the Link (Rider) amiibo, the soundtrack, the tapestry map, and an interchangeable alternate cover. The Deluxe Collector's Edition included the same content as well as the Master Sword statue and 20 postcards.
No limited edition for the Wii U version of the game was released.
Several retailers offered bonus items for pre-ordering the game. These included a black t-shirt featuring the Sheikah Eye in the Nintendo Official UK Store, a Z icon keyring and a poster featuring artwork from the game in GAME retailers, a wristband in Grainger Games, two double-sized art cards in Argos, and a pin badge in ShopTo. In GameStop retailers, a poster featuring the game's cover artwork was included.
The plot of Breath of the Wild directly refers to events that take place 10,000 years and 100 years prior to the game's setting. Before the game's release, Eiji Aonuma revealed that Breath of the Wild takes place after Ocarina of Time. In an interview following the game's release, Aonuma touched upon the idea that details of the history of Hyrule may have changed from previous games, similar to how real-world history books are often revised. In an interview with the game's director, Hidemaro Fujibayashi, he stated that Breath of the Wild takes place in the most recent age, long after the previous games.
Many references to previous games in the series can be found throughout Breath of the Wild. These include the history of the Zora, which tells the tale about the Sage Ruto who aided the hero in his fight against Ganon. The "Subdued Ceremony" Recovered Memory shows a speech by Princess Zelda which contains references to Skyward Sword, Ocarina of Time, and Twilight Princess, as well as to A Link to the Past and The Wind Waker in Japanese and German. Many locations are also named after characters and landmarks, such as Arbiter's Grounds, the Temple of Time, and Darunia Lake.
- Main article: amiibo (Rune)
Breath of the Wild is compatible with all lines of amiibo figures, scannable by using the amiibo Rune ability, which can be activated via the game's options menu. All regular amiibo will grant random items and materials, while most The Legend of Zelda-related amiibo will summon treasure chests, containing rarer and sometimes exclusive items (like costumes or special weapons related to the respective games). Additionally, Epona and Wolf Link may be summoned into the game, using the Super Smash Bros. Link and the Wolf Link amiibo, respectively.
A line of Breath of the Wild amiibo figures was also released on the same date as the game, making it the second mainline Zelda game (following Twilight Princess HD) with its own line of amiibo. The figures include two versions of Link, Zelda, a Bokoblin and a Guardian, all featuring their in-game design.
- Main article: Speedrun Records
|39:57 ||Ikkitrix||April 27, 2017||Any%|
|33:41:11 ||Xalikah||June 5, 2017||100%|
An update for the retail, Wii U version of the game containing extra game data is required to be installed in order to run the game. The update requires 3 GB worth of space to be installed.
An Expansion Pass, offering paid downloadable content for Breath of the Wild, was made available upon launch for both the Wii U and Nintendo Switch versions. The Expansion Pass includes three content packs which are not sold individually and will be released in three stages. The regular price for the entire DLC is $19.99 USD (¥2500, $28.19 CDN, €19.99, £17.99, $30.00 AUD, $33.00 NZD). The Expansion Pass content is divided as follows:
|Expansion Pass Bonus||March 3, 2017||Three Treasure Chests on the Great Plateau containing Bomb Arrows, a Ruby, and an exclusive shirt with the Nintendo Switch logo.|
|The Master Trials - DLC Pack 1||June 30, 2017|
|The Champions' Ballad - DLC Pack 2||Holiday 2017||
Breath of the Wild was estimated to have sold approximately 1.3 million copies in its first three weeks and around 89% of Switch owners were estimated to have also purchased the game.
Upon release, Breath of the Wild was met with critical acclaim by many game reviews. It also earned a Metacritic score of 97 by almost 100 critics, placing it among the highest-rated games of all time. Notably, the game received the most perfect review scores for any game listed on Metacritic up to that point.
- Breath of the Wild is the first main game in the series to be localized into Russian and Dutch. Eiji Aonuma himself appeared in the Russian and Dutch Nintendo Switch presentations to introduce the game to Russian, Dutch, and Flemish players. Although the Dutch localization is text only whilst retaining the English voice-overs, the Russian localization covers both text and voice acting.
- During development of Breath of the Wild, various designs for Link were planned, including him riding a bike in a tracksuit and a musician Link wielding a guitar. Other concepts for the game included Hyrule Wars and The Legend of Zelda Invasion, the latter featuring an alien attack.
- Nintendo, Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017, YouTube, published January 12, 2017, retrieved January 12, 2017.
- "I assume you have caught full sight of that atrocity swarming around the castle. That... is the Calamity Ganon. It brought ruin and corruption upon the kingdom of Hyrule 100 years ago. It appeared suddenly... destroying everything in its path. Leaving countless innocents in its wake. Over the last century, the kingdom's purest symbol, Hyrule Castle, has been able to contain that evil. But just barely. There it festers, building its strength for the moment it will unleash its blight upon the land once again. It would appear that moment is fast approaching" — Old Man (Breath of the Wild).
- "This is an HD system, our first HD system, and we want to create a real HD Zelda game for it. You will see a lot of these in-depth and deep experiences in terms of visual style. You will also see some play styles that are fun and interesting because of the play structure." — How the Wii U One Ups Television, Kotaku.
- Nintendo, Wii U Direct Presentation - 23.01.2013, YouTube.
- "One of the main things we wanted to do was go back to the open-world concept of the original 'Zelda' games and design with that in mind." — Derrik J. Lang, Miyamoto on 'Amiibo,' 'Zelda' and 'Mario' Movie, ABC News, retrieved December 18, 2014.
- "So, I must apologize to you all that were expecting the game by year's end, but we are no longer making a 2015 release our number one priority." — Nintendo, Eiji Aonuma, producer of The Legend of Zelda, has a message to share., Facebook, published March 27, 2015, retrieved March 27, 2015.
- Nintendo, Earnings Release for Fiscal Year Ended March 2016, Nintendo, published April 27, 2016, retrieved April 27, 2016.
- Eurogamer: "Let's Take a Look Inside Nintendo's Zelda: Breath of the Wild Wrap Party"
- "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild marks its long awaited release for Nintendo Switch and Wii U on 3rd March 2017! You can see the latest trailer for this epic open-air adventure below but if you've already decided to embark on Link's next journey then read on below to see what free bonus items you can get with your pre-order across UK retailers..." — The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Pre-order Item Guide, Nintendo UK, published January 31, 2017, retrieved February 19, 2017.
- Pre-Order and Pick-up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and receive an Exclusive Poster!, GameStop, retrieved February 19, 2017.
- Game Informer, 51 Questions And Answers About The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, YouTube, published February 09, 2017, retrieved February 11, 2017.
- "Hyrule's history has changed with time, and even now there are some occasions of canon histories becoming slightly changed. Some detailed parts in the history books have been changed as well." — Brian, Zelda: Breath of the Wild devs on Ganon and Zelda, story positioning, using open air concept in the future, Nintendo Everything, published April 4, 2017.
- "It takes place in an age long, long after any of the titles released to date. It is the most recent age." —Hidemaro Fujibayashi (Breath of the Wild Director Explains Where Game Fits in Zelda Timeline)
- "Long, long ago... In a past more distant than even the Great Calamity or the creation of the Divine Beast Vah Ruta... There was a Zora princess named Ruto. [...] Around that same time, an evil man with designs on ruling the world appeared, bringing disaster upon Zora's Domain. It is said that Ruto then awoke as a sage, facing this foe alongside the princess of Hyrule and the hero of legend." — History of the Zora, Part Five—The Sage Princess Ruto (Breath of the Wild)
- "Whether skyward bound, adrift in time, or steeped in the glowing embers of twilight...The sacred blade is forever bound to the soul of the Hero." — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- "Whether the hero crosses the sea, or creates a link to the past, may you always be at his side." — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- "You cross the seas when you seek the gold made by the gods. May you be alongside the hero." — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Any%, Speedrun.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - 100%, Speedrun.
- "The page now includes an additional note specifically about the game on Wii U. For those who plan on playing the physical version, some game data will need to be installed. More than 3 GB of space is needed in the console’s storage or USB storage device. It seems that USB memory devices (memory stick) can’t be used." — Brian, Zelda: Breath of the Wild's Wii U retail version comes with a 3 GB install, Nintendo Everything, published January 16, 2017, retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Starting when The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launches on March 3, players will be able to purchase an Expansion Pass for $19.99, granting access to two new sets of downloadable content for the game when they become available later this year." — Nintendo, A Special Announcement from Eiji Aonuma, The Legend of Zelda official site, published February 14, 2017, retrieved February 14, 2017.
- "The Expansion Pass will be available for both the Nintendo Switch and Wii U versions of the game and are identical. Content packs cannot be purchased individually." — Nintendo, A Special Announcement from Eiji Aonuma, The Legend of Zelda official site, published February 14, 2017, retrieved February 14, 2017.
- "Immediately upon pre-purchase or purchase of the Expansion Pass, three new treasure chests will appear in the game's Great Plateau area. One of these treasure chests will contain a shirt with a Nintendo Switch logo that Link can wear during his adventure, exclusive to the Expansion Pass. The other two will deliver useful items." — Nintendo, A Special Announcement from Eiji Aonuma, The Legend of Zelda official site, published February 14, 2017, retrieved February 14, 2017.
- "The Master Trials, DLC Pack 1 for The Legend of #Zelda: Breath of the Wild arrives June 30!" — Nintendo of America, , Twitter, published June 13, 2017, retrieved June 13, 2017.
- "The second content pack will launch in Holiday 2017, and adds new challenges that will let players enjoy a new dungeon and a new original story." — Nintendo, A Special Announcement from Eiji Aonuma, The Legend of Zelda official site, published February 14, 2017, retrieved February 14, 2017.
- The Verge: Video-Game Exclusives Still Matter
- Nintendo video showcasing review scores
- Metacritic: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
- Metacritic: List of Best Video Games of All Time
- VG247: "Zelda: Breath of the Wild Has the Most Perfect Review Scores in Metacritic History"
- Nintendo Russia, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — Трейлер Презентация Nintendo Switch, YouTube (Video), published January 13, 2017, retrieved January 19, 2017.
- NintendoNederland, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Aankondiging Nederlandse versie door Eiji Aonuma, YouTube (Video), published February 18, 2017, retrieved February 18, 2017.
- "Link himself went through some trial and error. Meet Biker Link, Tracksuit Link and Musician Link." — Nintendo of America, GDC 2017, Twitter, published March 1, 2017, retrieved March 1, 2017.
- "Before there was #Zelda: Breath of the Wild there was.. Hyrule Wars? And an alien attack!? The early concepts were definitely wild." — Nintendo of America, GDC 2017, Twitter, published March 1, 2017, retrieved March 1, 2017.